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Acclaimed writer Gore Vidal died Tuesday at age 86. Friends have begun to pay tribute to the versatile American writer and Broadway will also pay tribute by dimming the lights on Friday.
“Gore Vidal was the last surviving giant of a postwar crop of American literary giants,” Gerald Howard, the executive editor and vice president at Doubleday, said in a statement, reports Reuters. Howard was also Vidal’s editor for over a decade.
“He was also that rare American writer who spoke not just to his countrymen but to the entire world, which listened closely to what he had to say,” Howard added.
Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter admitted that one of the joys of his life was publishing Vidal’s work in the magazine. “Whether you agreed with him or not, you always had to concede that he got his point across with the utmost elegance,” he said.
Cybill Shepherd stars in the current Broadway revival of Vidal’s acclaimed play The Best Man.
“I'm honored to have been able to call Gore a close friend,” the actress said in a statement. “Speaking his witty and eloquent words every night only reinforces for me what a genius he was.”
Producer Jeffrey Richards announced that the production will dedicate all of next week’s shows to the author, showing photos of Vidal during curtain calls. John Stamos, Kristin Davis, Mark Blum, Elizabeth Ashley, Shepherd, John Larroquette and James Earl Jones currently star in the production, which opened in April at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre. The production will close on Sept. 9.
“Gore Vidal was an original,” Richards said. “For his contribution to American culture, we will always be in his debt.”
Broadway as a whole will pay tribute to Vidal by dimming the lights on Aug. 3.
Vidal died Tuesday from complications of pneumonia.